I have a weak spot for hot chocolate in the winter—and now that my selection of quaffable vices is limited by pregnancy, man, do I have a weak spot for hot chocolate. Many afternoons I’ll go out hunting for one around 3pm, or I’ll make some at home. If I’m feeling naughty, I’ll accept a dollop of whipped cream or throw some marshmallows into my steaming, milky cup.
But how could I have forgotten about churros?
In the Spanish world, churros—those thin, fluted, deep-fried pastries—and hot chocolate go together like milk and cookies in the United States. Opinion is divided over who, exactly, invented churros (Spanish shepherds? Portuguese sailors via the Chinese?), but it’s safe to say that Spain, and particularly Madrid, took the idea and ran with it, at all hours of the day, no less. From there the fried-dough cravings spread south throughout much of Latin America, including Mexico, which is where we last encountered the snack on our travels.
The photo at top is from a beloved 24-hour institution in Mexico City, Churrería el Moro, the type of no-frills, cafeteria-esque joint that sticks to what it knows—three types of churros, four types of hot chocolate. (OK, there’s also some coffee.) Simple and satisfying and perfectly dunkable. (See full entry here.)
Alas, I’m not in Mexico at the moment, but I am in Queens, New York, where subway-platform churro vendors are as common a sight as streetside taco trucks and tamale ladies. Those churros won’t be as good as their counterparts in D.F. or Madrid, but with hot chocolate? Something tells me they’ll hit the spot.
American-style hot chocolate, with marshmallows